If it were in a position to do so, Al Qaeda would use Pakistan’s nuclear weapons in its fight against the United States, a top leader of the group said in remarks aired on Sunday.
Pakistan has been battling Al Qaeda’s Taliban allies in the Swat Valley since April after their thrust into a district 100 km northwest of the capital raised fears the nuclear-armed country could slowly slip into militant hands.
“God willing, the nuclear weapons will not fall into the hands of the Americans and the mujahideen would take them and use them against the Americans,” Mustafa Abu al-Yazid, the leader of al Qaeda’s in Afghanistan, said in an interview with Al Jazeera television.
Abu al-Yazid was responding to a question about US safeguards to seize control over Pakistan’s nuclear weapons in case Islamist fighters came close to doing so.
“We expect that the Pakistani army would be defeated (in Swat) ... and that would be its end everywhere.”
Asked about the group's plans, the Egyptian militant leader said: “The strategy of the (Al Qaeda) organisation in the coming period is the same as in the previous period: to hit the head of the snake, the head of tyranny — the United States.